Film Review: The Northman | The week Great Britain

“You really ought to do some sort of training before you submit yourself to that Viking brave heart‘ Tom Shine said The Sunday Times. An adaptation of the Norse folk tale that inspired hamlet, the film is “a beast” — a “grunting, howling, blood-soaked tangle of blood, muscle and vengeance” that is both “incredibly violent and authoritatively odd.” The story revolves around Amleth (Alexander Skarsgård), a prince who as a boy watched his uncle (Claes Bang) murder his father before kidnapping his mother (Nicole Kidman) and taking the throne. Amleth flees overseas but returns to the kingdom as an adult and over the years transforms into a hulking Viking “berserker” with a “heart of cold fire” now out for revenge. “The film feels less shot and edited, more like it was dropped from the sky by ravens and forged in a forge.” I loved it.

The Northman was proclaimed a “masterpiece,” said Matthew Bond in The Post on Sunday, but I don’t understand why. “Yes, it looks great,” but there’s little more to Skarsgård’s role than “muscle and machismo” — and how this film “escaped with just a 15 certificate is beyond me.”

It’s violent, Kevin Maher said in The times, but it’s also pretty silly. Director Robert Eggers (The witch, The lighthouse) takes his “Scandinavian beefcakes” so seriously that there are moments when the film slips into the “ridiculous camp”. “Sleep tight, Nightblade,” was the line that got me giggling, and it was hard to stop after that. Other unintentionally funny parts include Amleth’s romance with a “naughty slave girl” played by Anya Taylor-Joy and the singing accents of the cast. The film is a one-note fiasco, a “foam-flecked display of cartoon machismo” from a director who should have known better. Film Review: The Northman | The week Great Britain

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